From the files of a skinny girl

I must confess.  I have a new addiction.  Its name is pinterest.com.  This website works as an online pinboard where you can create your own groups of things that catch your eye – you ‘pin’ something to a board so that you can easily find it again when you want it.  The ‘pin’ is a picture that is also a link to the website you need.  I have boards for such things as recipes I want to cook, fun things for kids to do, things for my house if I ever own my own house etc.

While I was feeding this new addiction the other day,  I came across this pin –

This quote – according to the rumour mill – is attributed to the model Kate Moss.  I don’t know how accurate that is – all I know is I have seen it around before, and it looks like it isn’t going away in a hurry.

To be perfectly honest it makes me feel sick.  I detest it.

As a person who has been ultra skinny, as a grown woman who has been severely underweight, I find it insulting and I think it is a terrible message to be sending to our kids, our nieces and nephews, our sisters and brothers and our cousins.  Male and Female.

Before I was diagnosed with celiac disease I was super skinny.  At my lightest I was 40 kgs/ 88 lbs.  NOT by choice though.  I must have been the only girl around that was on a ‘cream bun a day diet’.  I was eating high fat on Doctor’s orders – problem was – the food that I was eating was not being absorbed due to the undiagnosed celiac disease…hindsight is an amazing thing.

Anyway – this saying ‘Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’ doesn’t highlight or include the following points;

*  Skinny hurts.  When you need a belt to keep your jeans up and your hip bones are sticking out – that belt hurts.  When your butt is so boney you can’t sit for long on any kind of surface – before your butt hurts.

*  Skinny is cold.  When you are so lacking in body fat, it doesn’t have to be very cold for you to feel extremely cold.

*  Skinny makes you feel unattractive.  Yes, truly.  I felt most unattractive when I was super skinny.  It affects every part of your life.  Yes EVERY part.  Read between the lines.

*  Skinny makes you embarrassed when you have to shop in kids’ shops for yourself and it is hard to find clothing unadorned with bling and butterflies.

*  Skinny can make for slight medical mishaps.  When I had to have surgery and reacted to the anaesthetic, the anaesthesiologist  came to me to apologise after the operation…’sorry I gave you a little too much…didn’t realise how light  you are’……..not very comforting words…..

*  Skinny can make conception a long and hard road – our Luka is proof of that – he is a miracle in those respects – well in every respect – but that particularly.

Skinny is just plain not fun.

So please dear ladies – this message is not ok.  It is not something I want my nieces to hear, or my friends daughters or even my sons.  We need to not be encouraging this message in any way, shape or form and I have a simple way for you all to start with this. Don’t talk about your weight in front of young ears – or even older ears.  Just don’t.  Don’t mention how so and so has put on a bit of weight lately.  Don’t mention how your pants are a little tighter this month.  Don’t bring it up.  At all.  There is simply no need.

There is no right response if you do.  Whatever a person says in response to this is going to be wrong…..so don’t mention a thing that is weight related.  If you have to discuss your weight do it with your girly friends – at the same stage of life as you – but not your kids.

I have had both my Mother and Mother in law mention weight stuff to me – regarding me and regarding themselves.  It has made me want to stick my fingers in my ears and lalalalalala……Not because I am sensitive to it – but because EVERYONE is sensitive to it and any comments can be taken to imply something other than what the speaker was implying….When I was at my skinniest do you think I wanted to be reminded of it?  Seeing as I didn’t like the  ‘me’ as that person?  No, I didn’t.  And when I thankfully did put on weight do you think I wanted a reminder of that or comments on how I looked better?  No, I didn’t, because that was only reinforcing how awful I felt as a super skinny girl.

So ladies – just don’t mention weight.  A person struggling with weight issues is already perfectly aware of the situation.  They don’t need reminding.  Unless of course you suspect someone of suffering from Anorexia Nervosa – that needs intervention and attention of course.   Use your noodle – I’m not saying ignore any signs of that.

Can I encourage you to read this article for more ideas on how to promote a healthy self-image.

And let’s see if we can see this message,  ‘Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’ die in this generation.

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Two hands at the ready.

We were coming out of the supermarket this morning and suddenly met with a downfall of rain.  A summer storm had blown quickly in.  It wasn’t cold, but the splotches of rain were big and coming down fast, and were……wet.  As we raced to the car we could hear thunder in the distance.

My older two children laughed with glee at the fact we had been caught out by the rain.  They exclaimed how dark it was and ‘would we be ok driving in the thunder Mum?’.

My little one,  (13 months old), was sitting in the shopping cart/trolley/thingymajingy as we raced to our shelter.  He responded in a different way.  You see we don’t get a lot of rain here in summertime.  Our summers are hot and dry.  Spring, now that was a different story – but summer…..dry dry dry.  So it must be months and months since Asher has seen or experienced rain.  And for a 13 month old that is a long time.

Asher responded to the rain in two ways – first he ducked his head in an effort to avoid it.  He was sitting there, but trying to dodge his body away from the giant drops landing all around him.  Secondly he put a hand out to try to touch the rain, to experience this phenomenon.  He was trying to avoid the rain, yet he wanted to embrace the rain. To experience the rain.

I was thinking about this later on in the day and the thought occurred to me that I do this with God gifts sometimes. I want to like them, to embrace them, but I’m not fully sure of what this means for me. I take Luke 12: 48 seriously – ….much is required from those to whom much is given, for their responsibility is greater’ I’m fascinated and in awe and fully trust, but how do I truly live them (God’s gifts) out?  Have I dodged fully embracing them in the past because I was unsure of what to do with the responsibility?  Probably.

I do know this – You can’t go through life with your head bowed trying to dodge things, but still have one hand out, ready to receive……..because if you do, you know you’re missing out on so much more.  I like full portions.

If you’ve ever been to Asia you will have seen beggars lining the streets, especially the hot tourist spots.  Some beggars sit, some stand, some come to you, others can’t come to you because of physical impediments.  But most beggars when they see people who look like they are going to give to them, will have both hands (if they have two hands) at the ready to receive whatever is coming their way.  They know that two hands are likely to catch more than one.

In that very English game of cricket, the team in the field whose job it is to catch the hard little white ball, prepare to catch the ball by having two hands together, in a receiving position.  Two hands.

Instead of being afraid of the good gifts that God has in store for us, and instead of dodging the responsibility, and only having one hand out to taste His goodness, I want to be a two handed girl.  Yes?  Two hands at the ready.

Give me more love Lord, so I can pour it out on others.

Give me more words of encouragement Lord, so I can inspire others.

Give me wise words Lord, to enable me to give great counsel.

Give me healing hands Lord, so that YOU may be glorified.

Give me miracle power Lord.  Yes signs and wonders to testify your greatness.

With my two hands at the ready, I’m here to embrace all your goodness Lord. Come rain, hail, thunder or sunshine.

Honest words

My blog is all about honesty.  My words are from what I know, my experiences, my life stories, the good and the bad and the ugly.  I talked in this post Bee in my bonnet about the need for ‘community’ and some benefits of community.  Today  – I want to look at what lack of community does to a person. This person.

No I’m not depressed.  No I can honestly say that I’m a  fully functioning happy wife and Mummy. But here’s the thing, because of the lack of community around me that I’ve experienced for the last two and a half years, I feel like a deflated balloon, just floating adrift.  And if I feel like this, as one who has had an army of friends around me in the past, and I know what it is to have bosom buddies and kindred spirits and people’ to do life with’, then I think, if I feel this way, when I am still so connected to people (thanks to the internet!) then how many others are walking around, like deflated balloons, just floating adrift.  People who have never known and experienced true friendship around them.

Why do I feel deflated when I have an alive relationship with a God that I know is head over heels in love with me?  And I can feel Him, and know His embrace.  Why do I feel deflated when I have the most amazing husband in the world?  That he is hands down the most supportive and most stable man in the world and he still makes my heart flutter after nearly twelve years of marriage?

Why do I feel deflated?

I think it comes down to this – we were made for community.  We were designed to rejoice when others rejoice and mourn when other mourn.  And when you don’t have that, and know what it is like to have that, there is only so long you can outflow the good stuff into other people.

There are only so many questions I can ask about other people, before I wonder, ‘will they ever ask about me?’

There are only so many conversations I can handle when the person I am talking to is focussed on themselves and their life and all that entails, and doesn’t think to ask about me and my life.

There are only so many social engagements I can go to, and be sincerely and genuinely interested and inquisitive about others, before I realize that not one question was asked of me.

No I don’t give to get. I am not a selfish person.  I do not have rose tinted glasses and am very aware of my failings as a person, a friend, a Mother.

But come on people!  Self-centeredness does no-one any favours.  No-one.  Not yourself.  Not your fellow deflated balloon.  Community would easily be built in this country, if you would just show an interest in others.  It is not that hard!

I walk through my days, trying to be a good friend.  Asking others how they are.  Trying to encourage.  To be a practical help when needed.  I used to have huge encouragers around me, in NZ.  People that would openly and warmly say good words when appropriate. Not to inflate my ego, but to mean something, and because goodness and nice-ness would just ooze out of these people.

America is lacking in community in so many ways, and I am sure so many other countries are too.  I am a deflated balloon, and I am sure so many people around me are too.  So what I am going to do to protect my heart, and not let permanent damage occur?  I talked in the past about having the choice to Sink or Swim, and I do choose to swim.  I do.  I really do.  I need help though friends.  I need encouragement.  I need to know there are people out there that ‘get’ me and like me.  I need the people out there in real life, not just on the interwebby to actually BE a friend to me.  That is what this deflated balloon needs.

So how about you?  Are you needing some huffing and a puffing come your way? Do you need inflating?  And what are you gong to do about that – to change your life for the better?

Refreshing

If you are weary.  If you are bone-tired.  Play this song.  Again.  And again.  And again.  Then then just one more time.

Run into His arms.  Get your refreshing.

Life is busy.  Even for people with a simple life like mine – life is hard.  Life can get you down.

I found out tonight that the greek word for ‘refreshed’ also translates to ‘I will give you rest’.  Which is the same as ‘brought to rest’ and ‘come to a pause’.  As the song says, can I urge you, to stop worrying, to stop stressing about ‘things’ and run to Jesus.  And then stop.  Pause in His presence.

Play this song again.  And then again.  Let it raise your spirit.  Focus on the goodness of Him.  Run into His arms.  We need to stop taking things on ourselves and carrying so many burdens.

Run to Him. This is what I am learning.  Leave my worries – just to fill up from Him and then go out and love people.  It is as simple as that.  Love people to Jesus.

‘Forever Reign’ from Hillsong Live (A Beautiful Exchange CD)

You are good, You are good
When there’s nothing good in me
You are love, You are love
On display for all to see
You are light, You are light
When the darkness closes in
You are hope, You are hope
You have covered all my sin

You are peace, You are peace
When my fear is crippling
You are true, You are true
Even in my wandering
You are joy, You are joy
You’re the reason that I sing
You are life, You are life,
In You death has lost its sting

Oh, I’m running to Your arms,
I’m running to Your arms
The riches of Your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign

You are more, You are more
Than my words will ever say
You are Lord, You are Lord
All creation will proclaim
You are here, You are here
In Your presence I’m made whole
You are God, You are God
Of all else I’m letting go

Oh, I’m running to Your arms
I’m running to Your arms
The riches of Your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign

My heart will sing
no other Name
Jesus, Jesus

Oh, I’m running to Your arms
I’m running to Your arms
The riches of Your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign